Introduction to Multiple Translations of the Qur'an


The MSA of USC would like to acknowledge and thank the Islamic Computing Centre for providing the original file containing Yusuf Ali's and Marmaduke Mohammad Pickthall's translations. Their address is:

73 St. Thomas's Road, London N4 2QJ U.K.
Tel:(071) 359 6233
Fax:(071) 226 2024

The files you find here (that is, the translated chapters of the Qur'an) are NOT IN the Public domain, and the copy rights of the files still remain with The Islamic Computing Centre. It is NOT PERMITTED to distribute ANY OF THESE FILES for commercial (or profit) purposes.

We also wish to thank M. H. Shakir for his translation of the Qur'an which comes with the following message:

"These files are electronically scanned versions of M.H. Shakir's translation of the Holy Qur'an, as published by Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an, Inc., P.O. Box 1115, Elmhurst, New York 11373. The text has passed through a preliminary editing, but is not yet error free. The authentic version of this translation remains the hardcopy offered by the aforementioned publishers, and can be purchased in many bookstores."


Please keep in mind that ANY translation of the Qur'an will most definitely contain errors (e.g. see our online list of corrections). We have provided three translations here to emphasize this point. In its natural language (Arabic), the Qur'an is the direct Word of Allah (God) to mankind through the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Any translation of the Qur'an no longer retains that 'official' and perfect status, however it can be tremendously helpful to beginning students wanting to learn more about Islam.

We would strongly encourage those want to learn about Islam to purchase a hardcopy of the Qur'an but with the following conditions:

Unfortunately, the three translations presented here do NOT meet these simple conditions. To the best of our knowledge, an excellent English translation and commentary of the Qur'an is Maududi's recently published work "The Meaning of the Qur'an". This work took more than forty years to complete, and was published beginning in the mid to late 1980's. We have included Maududi's introduction to each chapter of the Qur'an, but the complete commentary is not online (yet!). Maududi's work is superior to the three works presented here, HOWEVER please note that we are not in any way decrying the tremendous efforts of Ali, Pickthal, or Shakir. May Allah reward them all.

Note for WWW Developers

MSA-USC has placed anchors (bookmarks) for all the verses in the translations presented here. Prospective developers of Islamic sites may find it useful to refer to these anchors. For example, one could use the anchors to create an 'active' subject index into the Qur'an.

The format of the anchor names for the translated Qur'an is very simple:

where D stands for a digit. The first three digits are the chapter number, the second three digits are the verse number. The format of the file names (one per chapter in the Qur'an) is:
The three digits are the chapter number, and qmt stands for Qur'an Multiple Translations.

For example, the following snippet of HTML should take you to verse 15 of chapter 51:

<a href="051.qmt.html#051.015">SAMPLE</a>

We have taken some pains to remove typos, and scanning/format errors from these files, but it is more than likely that quite a few still remain. PLEASE SEND US ANY CORRECTIONS OR SUGGESTIONS!

Direct your comments to


[Islamic Server Home] | [Reference Materials] | [Glossary] | [Other Islamic Sites] | [Email MSA-USC]